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Union membership rates highest in Hawaii, lowest in South Carolina, in 2020

February 05, 2021

In 2020, 30 states and the District of Columbia had union membership rates below that of the U.S. average, 10.8 percent, while 20 states had rates above it. All states in both the East South Central and West South Central divisions had union membership rates below the national average, while all states in both the Middle Atlantic and Pacific divisions had rates above it.

 Union membership of employed wage and salary workers, 2020 annual averages
State Percent Total

Alabama

8.0% 151,000

Alaska

17.7 49,000

Arizona

5.3 155,000

Arkansas

4.7 55,000

California

16.2 2,441,000

Colorado

7.4 182,000

Connecticut

17.1 262,000

Delaware

9.7 41,000

District of Columbia

8.6 30,000

Florida

6.4 524,000

Georgia

4.6 194,000

Hawaii

23.7 120,000

Idaho

5.6 41,000

Illinois

14.3 739,000

Indiana

8.3 235,000

Iowa

6.6 93,000

Kansas

8.9 114,000

Kentucky

7.5 127,000

Louisiana

5.9 99,000

Maine

14.7 82,000

Maryland

13.1 351,000

Massachusetts

12.0 357,000

Michigan

15.2 604,000

Minnesota

15.8 398,000

Mississippi

7.1 74,000

Missouri

9.4 238,000

Montana

12.0 50,000

Nebraska

9.6 85,000

Nevada

13.4 161,000

New Hampshire

9.8 62,000

New Jersey

16.1 600,000

New Mexico

7.1 53,000

New York

22.0 1,661,000

North Carolina

3.1 129,000

North Dakota

6.2 21,000

Ohio

13.2 637,000

Oklahoma

6.0 90,000

Oregon

16.2 275,000

Pennsylvania

13.5 717,000

Rhode Island

17.8 81,000

South Carolina

2.9 59,000

South Dakota

4.3 17,000

Tennessee

4.4 117,000

Texas

4.9 563,000

Utah

3.7 51,000

Vermont

11.8 31,000

Virginia

4.4 164,000

Washington

17.4 557,000

West Virginia

10.7 71,000

Wisconsin

8.7 227,000

Wyoming

7.6 18,000

Nine states had union membership rates below 5.0 percent in 2020. South Carolina had the lowest rate (2.9 percent). The next lowest rates were in North Carolina and Utah (3.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively). Two states had union membership rates over 20.0 percent in 2020: Hawaii (23.7 percent) and New York (22.0 percent).

Over half of the 14.3 million union members in the United States. lived in just seven states (California, 2.4 million; New York, 1.7 million; Illinois and Pennsylvania, 0.7 million each; and Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, 0.6 million each). However, these states accounted for about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see “Union Members — 2020.” The union membership rate is calculated by dividing the number of union members by the number of wage and salary workers. Union membership data do not include self-employed workers. 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Union membership rates highest in Hawaii, lowest in South Carolina, in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/union-membership-rates-highest-in-hawaii-lowest-in-south-carolina-in-2020.htm (visited December 05, 2021).

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